Cisco Systems Reviews

Updated October 24, 2014
Updated October 24, 2014
5,146 Reviews
3.6
5,146 Reviews
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Cisco Systems Chairman & CEO John T. Chambers
John T. Chambers
3,597 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Cisco does a wonderful job of allowing its employees a superb work-life balance (in 630 reviews)

  • It is very flexible environment where most people can work from home if they desire (in 352 reviews)


Cons
  • No part-time options for professionals wanting work-life balance while raising a family (in 182 reviews)

  • If you want some short term real good big company experience it is a good place to be (in 165 reviews)

More Highlights

552 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Becoming too much like an "Old School" company, going to loose talent to competition and "fun" and "Nimble" start-ups

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in San Jose, CA

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Good pay and benefits for the work, decent benefits, global footprint and global leader in it's space (for now)

    Cons

    Limited promotions or opportunities to advance. Nearly impossible to have lateral movement due to limits on req's. Constant cost cutting puts more work on all employees without de-prioritizing other area's. Every year IC's expected to do more with less. Upper management disconnected with the lower ranks, making a Managers job extremely difficult with limited tools to develop and motivate teams. While rewards is said to be based on performance, in actuality it is based purely on the "short term" and what was done for execs close to the performance review period and not on overall success factors and full year performance.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    We are becoming a culture of managing by spreadsheets and metrics and have lost the aspect of "fun". We have a broken performance review process, forcing everyone to worry about their own performance and not success as a team. Performance is not connect to Pulse and Manager feedback at all, and only on "execution at al costs". Too much bureaucracy and lack of focus to retain top talent. A true disappointment as we have fallen and lost our fun, energetic and working together culture that we had up until 2007.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 4 people found this helpful  

    Long time employee, in the end, disappointing

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Program Manager in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Program Manager in San Jose, CA

    I worked at Cisco Systems full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Health benefits, on site daycare and healthcare.

    Cons

    Poor Leadership, continuous cost cutting and culture erosion over time. Projects kick off but are rarely completed. Tons of outsourcing and laying off of people to rehire the same job in low cost areas. Way too much Power Point and too little leadership. People are promoted for managing up vs. enabling their teams and doing the right thing for Cisco and the customer. It is incredibly political and you don't know when or if you will be laid off if your not in with the right people. I finally quit after working there for over a decade.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop promoting people that put together power point presentations and talk, talk, talk. Promote innovators, true leaders that have integrity and will lead and mentor their teams. This poor management style has spread like a weed throughout the company, and it's just sad.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Software Intern

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Jose, CA

    I have been working at Cisco Systems as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    possibilities to learn are many

    Cons

    frequent layoffs and less value to employees

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    organize teams into smaller units for higher visibility

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Confusing, management does not know what to do one year to the next.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Account Manager in Herndon, VA
    Current Employee - Account Manager in Herndon, VA

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Good products, good benefits, great talent.

    Cons

    Management has lost touch with reality. Goals are becoming unattainable. Politics galore!!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Quit, it needs to be like the Senate, there need to be term limits on management here, lost touch with what the customers really want.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Amazing company when it comes to people and technology, but questionable future due to upper management issue.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in San Jose, CA

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great culture and colleagues, flexibility to work from home, cutting-edge technologies, and great reputation in high-tech market.

    Cons

    Politics and incompetence of upper management, too slow to catch up with market transitions, rash decision for promotions, bing/purge hirings and layoffs are very political and questionable.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    John Chambers is a great human being but he needs to step down for fresh blood on board and leadership across, salaries are behind competition despite excellent benefits, Cisco is obsessed with cutting costs but not listening to market transitions quick enough to reverse the staggering stock price.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Not fun being a contractor

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Campaign Specialist in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Campaign Specialist in San Jose, CA

    I have been working at Cisco Systems as a contractor (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good experience gained, work from home, no crazy hours schedule. Laid-back culture.

    Cons

    Regular employees and upper management treat contractors like expendable second-class citizens. Takes a long time to get anything done. Very disorganized and constant change in management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat everybody the same

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Too much politics

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Product Manager in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Product Manager in San Jose, CA

    I have been working at Cisco Systems as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    It looks great on your resume.

    Cons

    Many staff directors do nothing in their job. They don't understand their areas or don't have the necessary technical skills. The directors ignore their staff and interns. People can spend 3-4 months without any assignments or tasks. I met people who haven't done any work in more than three years. Many reports send fake numbers to upper management. You can lose your skills quickly if you don't use them.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't just ask the directors how things are going. There should be private meetings with workers and contractors with guarantee that what they say won't be used against them. The company is seriously bloated. Many people just stay there for the paycheck and pension.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Cisco follows through, yet it supports its employees and lets contractors go when a contract is done

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Program Manager in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Program Manager in San Jose, CA

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Good resources, opportunities to transfer.

    Cons

    Hard to become an employee

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Using a large contractor force is a drawback in the long-run. People work best when their organization invests in them and supports them in the long run.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Being acquired by Cisco was an eye-opener

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Project Manager in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Project Manager in San Jose, CA

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Remote/mobile work is enhanced by the variety of collaboration technology available, even from your phone. Investment in infrastructure like employee directory and purchasing website are impressive. Onsite health clinic and services, encouragement to be active, etc. is great.

    Cons

    Having worked at Intel for 16 years, I know what it is like to work at a big company but being acquired by Cisco was a real eye-opener. There is such a large staff and so many contractors, you've got a choice: grab on and hold tight, be an overlap, or be laid-back. Although this exists in many companies, Cisco is the poster child.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I would never put so much of my business in the hands of contractors. It sends a message to employees that they are not accountable, keeps your results at arm's length, and dilutes the company culture. What are you thinking?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Empowerment, ALWAYS changing, Diversity, Multi-cultural

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Cisco Systems

    Pros

    It is all about delivering results in the SHORT-TERM

    Cons

    Requires to adapt to change VERY fast, to deliver results faster, and the culture varies by organization. If you are really interested to join Cisco, make sure to know very well NOT ONLY your direct manager, but also his manager. The organization changes very often, which makes it difficult to get continuity on what you do for mid-to-long term. So, you must reinvent yourself as valuable contributor on a yearly basis.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    My advice to the management team is to ensure new talent is prepared & ready to deliver results, to keep them highly motivated, to keep a positive balance between "old school" and new breeds.

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